Coach Mark Laycock says his Newcastle Falcons squad have plenty more to show as they prepare for Sunday’s Singha 7s finals in Coventry.
Newcastle topped their group during Saturday’s home qualifier at Kingston Park Stadium, but lost their six-year unbeaten record in pool action by losing 24-21 to Worcester.
Laycock remains adamant they can find the necessary improvements ahead of Sunday’s quarter-final date with Ospreys, his side striving to regain the trophy they last won back in 2011.
“There is definitely room for improvement. We know as a group that we weren’t good enough on Saturday, we scraped through by the skin of our teeth and we have got a lot of work to do between now and the finals,” he said.
“We have got a bit of preparation time during the week but what we need to do much better is ensure that what we work in in training is applied during the games.
“This group of players talk very openly among themselves about what they need to do better. For moments in games they did manage to do what we had spoken about during the week but we just need to be more consistent in doing that during the finals.
“We lost our composure at certain times and switched off on the odd occasion. Those are the things we need to iron out, but overall the lads responded well and ensured we progressed.”
Aided by a steady supply of possession from kick-offs, Laycock said: “Sevens is about who controls the ball, and one of the positives from last weekend was that our big athletic forwards won us plenty of ball from the restarts. We managed to look after it OK at times, we had a bit of a wobble during our second game against Worcester but the lads bounced back by beating Leicester.
“Dan Temm was phenomenal as captain. He was great with the boys all week, he has that experience from training with England 7s during the summer and his attitude depicts everything that we are about as a sevens team. We are dogged, we fight for each other, and when every team has talented players that can often be the difference.”
Up against Ospreys, Cardiff Blues, Sale Sharks, Northampton Saints, Harlequins, Exeter Chiefs and Wasps in the quest for the Singha 7s title, he added: “Finals day will be hard, as it always is.
“We will regroup after the qualifier, we are going down to Coventry with optimism and we’ll see what we can do.”
Tickets for Sunday’s finals are priced £10 for adults and £5 for juniors. To book, visit www.wasps.co.uk/tickets